“We do not have proper armored vehicles to carry with us north,” Wilson said after asking again.

Rumsfeld replied that, “You go to war with the Army you have,” not the one you might want.

CNN

Didn’t Bush feed us lines about the best and most well-supplied fighting force in the world?

And, the defense chief added, armor is not always a savior in the kind of combat U.S. troops face in Iraq, where the insurgents’ weapon of choice is the roadside bomb, or improvised explosive device.

“You can have all the armor in the world on a tank and it can (still) be blown up,” Rumsfeld said.

CNN

So… because they can get blown up, too, they shouldn’t worry so much about stopping those pesky bullets?

In his opening remarks, Rumsfeld stressed that soldiers who are heading to Iraq should not believe those who say the insurgents cannot be defeated or who otherwise doubt the will of the military to win.

CNN

That’s a gross oversimplification if I ever saw one. I’ve yet to meet a person who thinks we can’t eventually “win” in Iraq. The question becomes “winning” in the middle east, which is a bit like trying to drain a swamp, only now you’ve pissed off the alligators.

§454 · December 8, 2004 · Tags: , ·

9 Comments to “More from the spin machine”

  1. Andy says:

    Who cut the military budget enormously, resulting in most of this underfunding and lack of equipment? (Hint: it happened during the 90’s.)

  2. Andy says:

    Furthermore, why do some people love to think that Arabs and Middle Easterners only began to be pissed at us with the beginning of the W presidency?

    And by the by, a great number of Iraquis are thrilled that we have liberated them.

  3. Ben says:

    No doubt that Clinton cut the military spending budget. But Bush seemed to love the Clinton military when it served him in Afghanistan.

    Also no doubt that the Middle East has hated us for a long time. Still, I think our incursion into it on two occasions, one generally justified, the other hotly debated, hasn’t helped any.

    My problem here is with Rumsfeld’s gloss.

  4. abou says:

    Andy, that is quite a simplification in and of itself. Bush I’s administration wanted to cut funding for several military project. Clinton realized that, as being a part of the UN, paying for such an operation as Iraq by himself wasn’t necessary.

    Clinton also upgraded the military drastically in the technology department but he didn’t choose everything the Pentagon did with its budget. Then consider that Iraq happened three years into Bush II’s term and how he just loves to spend money why didn’t he upgrade the armor on vehicles?

  5. Andy says:

    Well, I am far from being Bush Sr.’s biggest fan. But his presidency is really not even in the same geopolitical era as his son’s. The nature of borders and combat has changed tectonically since then. And the GOP was not in control of Congress then, either. (Look at the oft-reported voting record of John Kerry, for example. There is NOT ONE SINGLE MILITARY APPROPRIATIONS BILL HE VOTED FOR, EVER! Some of these included armor of the type in question.)

    And Clinton cut funding *drastically*, not because he saw us as part of the Untied Nations (sic), but because he dislikes the military.

  6. Ben says:

    Numerous variants of this message claiming that Senator John Kerry of Masschusetts “voted to kill every military appropriation for the development and deployment of every weapons systems since 1988” have been circulating since at least February 2004. The message’s implication — that Senator Kerry distinctly and specifically voted to kill upwards of a dozen different weapons systems — is inaccurate and grossly misleading, however.

    Snopes

    That Clinton “disliked” the military is again an oversimplification. I don’t doubt that he disliked the idea of having to maintain a large fighting force in a time that should be about global partnerships, but people who say that Clinton “hated” or “disliked” the military generally imbue it with a context of denigration and not pacifism.

  7. Andy says:

    You bet your cat’s ovaries I imbue it with a context of denigration. P.S. Several of Clinton’s global partner military actions were rousing successes, as I’m sure you remember.

    And, yes, those things Kerry voted against were all parts of larger spending bills. Everything is in D.C. So I stand corrected; the Democrats are the warmonger party, have a storied history of military funding, and if Gore and Kerry (or Dean or Lieberman, et al) would have been elected, their priority would have been guns, tanks and armor for their beloved fighting man.

    :)

  8. Ben says:

    My cat doesn’t have ovaries. Or a tail. The fact that Clinton reduced military spending (yes, drastically) doesn’t mean that he gutted the military. We were quickly successful in Afghanistan largely because of Clinton’s military. Why we didn’t have enough armor for an infantry war isn’t really the issue: it’s why we went to war without it.

  9. Andy says:

    Poor, poor kitty.

    One last post and then I’ll quit.

    You accurately summarized the crux of one issue in your final sentence above, but wrote a howler in the sentence before it.

    We did not win in Afghanistan because of “Clinton’s military.” Rather in spite of it; the Taliban was simply an easier foe to defeat.

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